NRL News

Unanswered Prayers: my timing was not God’s timing for Dobbs v. Jackson

by | Jul 12, 2022

By Jacki Ragan, Director of State Organizational Development Department and Conventions, Inc.

Editor’s note. This appears in the first post-Roe v. Wade issue on page one. Be sure to pass this along to pro-life family and friends.

Some say that “unanswered prayers” are the greatest gift God can give us. I was reminded of that during the opening of our NRLC Convention.

I had decided that the best time for the Dobbs decision to come down was after the convention (Atlanta, Georgia June 24, 25), and prayed that it be so. It seemed logical to me, and it seemed practical for the Justices.

But God had other plans and as always, He was absolutely correct.

The opening day of the convention, we had a wonderful Prayer Breakfast featuring Ms. Catherine Davis, Founder, The Restoration Project, and she was amazing. Guest after guest came out of the room the breakfast was held in asking how they could reach her to speak for them.

We were off to a great start.

The next session featured Wesley Smith, J.D., of the Discovery Institute and a full-time advocate for human beings threatened by euthanasia and assisted suicide. The session began at 9:30 am. Shortly after 10 am, as Wesley was in the midst of his presentation, several people burst into the room shouting, “Roe is overturned.” After almost a half-century, the Supreme Court had reversed Roe v Wade. There was stunned silence for about a half a second before people erupted in tears, hugs, and disbelief.

Many of us in that room, had spent our adult lives fighting to restore legal protection to unborn children. This was a moment most of us thought we would not live to see.

The attorney’s and staff of NRLC gathered in the convention office as the decision was read and a statement prepared for the press. As the convention director, I wondered how in the world I would get the convention back on track and it even crossed my mind that maybe I shouldn’t.

But we regrouped and we were ready for the first round of breakout sessions at 11:15. The one thing that continued throughout the rest of the convention was smiles on everyone’s faces. We knew we had won a historic victory but we also knew that abortion was now largely a state issue. We had to keep educating the public about the injustice of abortion.

The convention continued with a session featuring Melissa Ohden of the Abortion Survivors Network. Imagine knowing that you were supposed to be among the 63,000,000 plus babies who died by abortion, and yet, here you were, standing on the stage telling your story on the day Roe died. I believe Melissa’s words are well worth repeating here:

Like me, I’m sure you’ll always remember where you were and what you were doing when the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe was announced.

Me? I was in my hotel room at the National Right to Life Committee Convention… As we suddenly stepped into this new moment in time, a time we all have worked for, prayed for, believed in, dreamed of, my phone began to blow up.

My first text?

It was from my oldest daughter, Olivia. She was downstairs in a pro-life teen workshop.

The ruling came out!!”

Roe was overturned!!”

Where are you, mom?”

I need to see you!”

As the afternoon continued, periodically, someone would just walk up and hug you and smile and say, “did you ever think?” We went through 24 breakout sessions and ended Friday with an amazing session featuring Matt Birk, Super Bowl Champion, author, and a huge promoter of adoptions; Bishop Peter Christensen who honored National Right to Life in the midst of the pandemic by suggesting if the folks in his Diocese did not need all the stimulus money, they were receiving that they give back half and donate it to NRLC; and David Scotton who is featured in the upcoming Kendrick Brother’s film on adoption, “LifeMark.” It was a perfect way to end the day.

Saturday morning opened with a political session featuring Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach from MN 7th district. Her words are also worth repeating here: “I never imagined when I agreed months ago to speak at the @nrlc convention that I would have the honor to celebrate the repeal of Roe v Wade with the people who fought for decades to make it possible. I also visited with the next generation committed to defending life!”

Our Executive Director, Dr. David N. O’Steen was part of that same session – “Yesterday’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. “Dobbs gave us freedom,” said Dr. O’Steen, “the freedom to protect unborn children.”But “when evil is cornered, it comes back ferociously,” he continued. “We have a real struggle before us.”

He reminded us of the challenge ahead. The freedom we gained on June 24 “can so easily be lost” if pro-lifers “do not take back the House and Senate,” said Dr. O’Steen.

Still buoyed by Dobbs, the convention carried on throughout Saturday with session after session providing wisdom, advice, praise for where we are, and love and support for NRLC to continue with the task of saving lives.

As our president, Carol Tobias said, “We’ll rejoice!  We’ll celebrate!  Then we’ll get back to work.” 

Having the Dobbs decision come down, and the Roe v. Wade decision overturned on the opening day of our convention – well, there just are not words sufficient to describe it. It was perfect, it was exhilarating beyond belief, and as always, God knew best.

So next year, June 23, 24, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, plan NOW to be with us! One never knows what will happen at the National Right to Life Convention.

See you there!

Categories: Pro-Lifers